John Tyler Looks to Lock Down No. 1 Seed by Defeating Crosstown Rival Tyler Lee
John Tyler Lions (8-1, 5-1)
Tyler Lee Red Raiders (2-7, 0-6)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Tyler
- John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
- Lee: Clayton George
- John Tyler: vs. TBD, 6A Division II bi-district playoff
- Lee: season is complete
- QB Bryson Smith, Sr., 6-0, 175 (133 of 224, 2,214 yards, 25 TDs, 6 INTs; 113 carries, 1,034 yards, 12 TDs; committed to Houston)
- WR/S Damion Miller, Sr., 6-2, 195 (26 catches, 653 yards, 7 TDs; 21 tackles, 1 INT, 4 PBUs, 1 blocked kick, 1 defensive TD; committed to Texas)
- RB Cameron Grant, Soph., 5-9, 170 (99 carries, 659 yards, 6 TDs; 6 catches, 55 yards, 2 TDs)
- DE DeKalen Goodson, Jr., 6-3, 215 (53 tackles, 16 for loss, 9 sacks, 5 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries, 2 PBUs)
- DE Howard Hawkins, Sr., 6-0, 265 (58 tackles, 17 for loss, 6 sacks, 19 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries)
- LB Tre Allison, Jr., 6-2, 200 (82 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 1 INT, 3 PBUs)
- WR/CB Javonta Mosley, Sr., 6-2, 175 (42 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 1 INT, 13 PBUs; committed to UTSA)
- WR Michael Givens-Washington, Jr., 5-8, 160 (30 catches, 520 yards, 6 TDs)
- QB Chance Amie, Jr., 6-4, 215 (86 of 165, 1,465 yards, 10 TDs, 6 INTs; 163 carries, 1,174 yards, 17 TDs)
- RB Ladarius Wickware, Soph., 6-2, 180 (150 carries, 1,185 yards, 12 TDs; 4 catches, 63 yards)
- WR Keashun Davis, Sr., 6-1, 165 (20 catches, 455 yards, 4 TDs)
- WR Isaiah Davison, Sr., 5-9, 150 (27 catches, 427 yards, 4 TDs)
- S Makyle Sanders, Sr., 6-2, 185 (62 tackles, 1 INT, 4 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- DE Campbell Miller, Sr., 6-2, 275 (47 tackles, 9 for loss, 2 sacks, 3 QB pressures, 1 fumble recovery, 2 PBUs)
- S Triston Wesley, Sr., 5-11, 170 (79 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 QB pressure, 1 forced fumble, 4 PBUs)
- RB Jordan Printers, Soph. (68 carries, 362 yards, 3 TDs; 4 catches, 28 yards, 1 TD)
Just the facts
- This is the 61st all-time meeting between John Tyler and Tyler Lee. John Tyler leads the series, 31-28-1.
- John Tyler and Lee have not met in district competition since 2009.
- John Tyler is averaging 43.4 points and 501.6 yards per game -- 251.3 rushing and 250.3 passing.
- The Lions' five district wins have come by an average of 28.6 points.
- John Tyler can clinch the No. 1 seed from 11-6A and homefield advantage in the first round of the Division II playoffs with either a win, or a Longview loss to Mesquite.
- Lee is averaging 34.9 points and 497.9 yards per game -- 335.1 rushing and 162.8 passing.
- The Red Raiders' last three losses have come by a combined 10 points.
- Lee has just one playoff appearance since 2010.
Key matchup: Tyler Lee rushing attack vs. John Tyler defensive front. The Red Raiders might be on a seven-game losing streak, but it's not as if scoring points has been a problem. Despite being on the losing end of games for two months, Lee is averaging more than 35 points per game in those seven games. For the Red Raiders' spread attack, the running game is the primary focus. Both junior quarterback Chance Amie and sophomore running back Ladarius Wickware have already eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season, and each player has turned it up a notch over the last three weeks. Lee has had the opportunity to win each of its previous three games, falling to Mesquite, Rockwall, and North Mesquite by a combined 10 points. In those contests, the combination of Amie and Wickware has combined for 1,072 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.
John Tyler's forte on the defensive side of the ball has been shutting down the opposition's running game. The Lions have allowed only one team -- Ennis -- to run for more than 200 yards against them all season. John Tyler surrenders a modest 142.9 rushing yards per game, and opponents are mustering just 3.6 yards per rushing attempt. While defensive ends DeKalen Goodson and Howard Hawkins shine at rushing the passer with a combined 15 sacks entering Friday's game, both are exceptional at containing the edges against the run. At the second level, JT comes with one of the best linebacking duos in all of East Texas with junior Tre Allison, the team's leading tackler, and senior team captain Shaundrick Williams -- a three-year starter. While Amie is a capable passer for Lee, making the Red Raiders more one dimensional by taking away the run could pay big dividends for the John Tyler defense.
Don't be surprised if: Friday's regular-season finale is closely contested. Not only is John Tyler vs. Tyler Lee one of East Texas' longest and most storied rivalries, the Red Raiders have been playing much better of late than their record indicates. Ever since the mid-district bye week, Lee has begun to come together under first-year coach Clayton George, even if the outcomes don't reflect that. Mesquite scored the game-winning touchdown and two-point conversion with less than a minute remaining to knock off Lee, 57-56, three weeks ago. Then, Lee's last-minute drive for the potential game-tying drive ended with an interception in the Rockwall red zone. And last week, Lee scored a touchdown with seven seconds remaining but missed on tying with a two-point conversion in a 63-61 loss to North Mesquite. John Tyler has much more on the line than Lee with homefield advantage in the first round of the playoffs at stake. Lee would relish the opportunity to send its crosstown rivals on the road to begin the postseason.